The Iowa Hawkeyes open Big Ten Tournament play Thursday in Chicago against Purdue on the heels of three straight regular season wins. To some it looks like the Hawkeyes were playing better without as much pressure on them down the stretch. Coach Steve Alford doesn’t agree with that asessment. He says they’ve been able to win the tight close contests in the last few weeks that they weren’t able to win earlier in the season. Alford says hopefully they can use that momentum. He says there’s been pressure on the team all through the season and that will intensify in the conference tournament. Iowa can win an automatic NCAA Tournament bid by winning the conference tournament — but Alford says a couple of wins would give them support for an at-large NCAA bid.Iowa enters the tournament at 19-10 overall record.
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